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Site on scene lab management
February 2007
by Jeffrey Bouley  |  Email the author
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FULLERTON, Calif.—Seeing an opportunity for new business and a way to increase customer satisfaction, Beckman Coulter in January entered the multivendor laboratory equipment services market with a new asset management program called SiteMAX Asset Management Solutions. With this comprehensive instrument maintenance and service program, Beckman Coulter plans to assume service ownership and maintenance expense risk for customers' laboratory equipment while providing cost reductions in the range of 10 percent to 20 percent over historical service spending. "We can reduce the time folks spend on servicing and maintaining their equipment so that they can spend that time on things like discovery instead," says Craig Cole, strategic operations manager for Beckman Coulter. According to Beckman Coulter's announcement of the program, SiteMAX will provide customers with a dedicated, onsite Beckman Coulter team that will manage and schedule all routine and emergency service events. The service teams will also focus on improving lab and researcher productivity through various activities. "The growing range and complexity of lab instruments in use today present critical management challenges," explains Robert Kleinert, executive vice president for Beckman Coulter. "Customers want to minimize downtime, get the quickest and most cost-effective service and gather information to make better-informed decisions." The biggest challenge that faces Beckman Coulter in providing top-notch service is that a program like SiteMAX has to address the unique needs of each customer and each site, Cole notes. There is no template or cookie-cutter approach. He says that the company's long experience in the industry helps mitigate this challenge. More specific preparation, he says, has included realignment of some personnel, development of many new procedures and process documents, and a substantial investment in a customized "best in class" IT structure to support the program. In addition to all that, it helps that Beckman Coulter has already been doing this kind of work for years. Ten years, in fact, Cole notes, though this is the first time the program has been officially commercialized. "The program was offered opportunistically before," Cole explains. "Now it has gone through a full-scale development for a broad-based launch." One longtime user of the service, Dow AgroSciences LLC, agrees that Beckman Coulter has made possible for researchers to spend more time on science rather than dealing with equipment maintenance and performance. Dow AgroSciences' director of site operations, Tom Lingafelter, adds: "During our more than 10 years of service management history with Beckman Coulter, the onsite manager and his team have developed strong relationships with our lab personnel and understand our workflow and processes, enabling them to provide expert advice and service." Even though Beckman Coulter is assuming the risks involved with managing lab equipment, the company doesn't see the effort itself as a risk—only as a series of opportunities. "The payoffs for us are a growth opportunity for Beckman Coulter, as the market seems to be increasingly looking for this kind of service, and also it will allow us to make for satisfying and lasting connections to customers and help them solve critical business issues," Cole says 
 
Code: E020710

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